REPORT: Patron Highcroft team builds new Acura prototype in just over 20 hours [w/VIDEO]

Scott Sharp driving the Highcroft Acura ARX-02a at Mid-Ohio 2009 - click above for high-res image gallery

A mere 42 hours after Scott Sharp walked away from a horrific 3.5-revolution crash during practice for the Petit Le Mans, a freshly-built Acura ARX-02a was rolled out for the morning warmup on Saturday. The Highcroft crew put in marathon sessions Thursday and Friday to ensure that their pre-race work did not go in vain. Unlike Formula One teams, ALMS teams don't typically bring a spare car along with them, even to a big race like Petit Le Mans.

Sharp's crash happened at 3:43 PM EDT on Thursday, and by 6 pm a spare carbon fiber tub was picked up from the Honda Performance Development shop in California. As the tub was being shipped across the continent, the crew at Road Atlanta set about stripping down what was left of the crashed car. In the end, only 10 percent of the old parts were re-used on the new car.

The new tub arrived at the track at 9:30 AM Friday morning and the team went to work; a whole new race car had to be built up from thousands of parts. 15.5 hours after they started, the engine was fired at 1 AM. By 5:45 AM, setup was complete and at 9:45 AM Saturday morning the car hit the track. SPOILER ALERT: Petit Le Mans was ended early due to heavy rains, with the Highcroft Acura finishing sixth overall, 4 laps down from the winning Peugueot.

Update: Time lapse video of the build is embedded after the jump.

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[Source: American Le Mans Series]
Photos Copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / Weblogs, Inc.

The video meant to be presented here is no longer available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Below is a summary list of the work done on the Patrón Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a since Scott Sharp's horrific crash Thursday at Road Atlanta in practice for Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA6. Thanks to Paul Ryan with Patrón Highcroft Racing.

Prep Statistics:
Pre-Petit work list items: 190

Acura ARX-02a Statistics:
Chassis mechanical parts: 4000
Chassis electrical parts: 250
Engine parts: 100 (excluding internals of engine)
Gearbox parts: 350
Parts with tracked life: 1000 (excluding internals of engine)
Custom hardware (fasteners, o-rings, bearings): 450

Rebuild Statistics:
Parts reused: about 10%

Rebuild Timeline (times are when tasks were completed, unless otherwise noted)
3:43 PM - Accident
4:15 PM – Damaged assessment finished
4:45 PM – Spare part serial numbers allocated for car build
5:00 PM – Finalized arrangements to ship spare tub
6:00 PM – Spare tub picked up by freight service in California
6:45 PM – Damaged car stripped, reusable parts identified
11:00 PM – Replacement parts prepared and arranged for assembly
12:00 AM – Team back to hotel

7:10 AM – Spare tub arrives at Atlanta airport, met by team members
7:30 AM – Breakfast
8:00 AM – Begin preparation for car build, organize and layout assemblies
9:30 AM – Spare, bare tub arrives at track
11:00 AM – Tub preparation finished
12:00 PM - Lunch
11:30 PM - Fresh engine fitted
1:30 PM - Fresh gearbox fitted
6:00 PM - Dinner
8:00 PM – Four corners fitted on car
9:00 PM – Race spare preparation begins
11:45 PM – Hydraulic/fuel/electronic systems tested
1:00 AM – Engine fired
4:30 AM – Car on ground
5:45 AM – Setup finished
6:45 AM – Race strategy meeting
9:45 AM – Warmup / Practice Session

Crash Statistics:
Just before impact:
Speed: 225 kph (140 mph)
Throttle: 100% (Full)
Lateral acceleration: 1.5g
Gear: 6th (Top gear)
Location: Before turn 2

During collision:
Car did a full rotation every 1.3 seconds
Peak acceleration > 15g
From impact to stop: 6.2 seconds

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